Saturday 7th April

SAINTS BACK ON THE SUMMIT

Southampton returned to the top of the npower Championship on goal difference alone after late drama in their local derby against Portsmouth.

Reading's win over Leeds United on Friday nudged Brian McDermott's side a point ahead of the Saints at the summit, but their rivals responded with a Billy Sharp brace in the south coast showdown that ended 2-2 at St Mary's.

Sharp must have thought his late second had secured all three points, after Chris Maguire spectacularly cancelled out his opener, but Pompey responded again with David Norris firing home from outside the box deep into injury time.

ELSEWHERE IN THE DIVISION

Cardiff climbed back into the Play-Off places with a 2-0 win over top-six rivals Middlesbrough.

The Welsh side arrived at the Riverside in eighth position, two points behind their opponents and sixth-placed Brighton, but usurped both come the end of the day after first-half goals from Ben Turner and substitute Joe Mason.

Birmingham City strengthened their grip on a Play-Off spot with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace, whose record at St Andrew's was extended to eight defeats in their last nine visits.

Chris Burke and Keith Fahey struck within two minutes of each other midway through the half before David Murphy got on the scoresheet in the 32nd minute. All three goals were excellent finishes from outside the box - as was Owen Garvan's consolation for Palace on the stroke of half-time.

Leicester City kept up their push for a top-six place with a 4-0 win over bottom side Doncaster Rovers thanks to goals from Danny Drinkwater, Lee Peltier, Ben Marshall and Paul Gallagher.

Rovers ended the day seven points adrift of 21st-placed Coventry, who were prevented from moving further clear by Emile Sinclair's brace, which secured a 2-2 draw for Peterborough.

Hull's City losing run continued as Harry Kane's 25th minute header and Andy Keogh's penalty gave Millwall a 2-0 win at the New Den, while Derby County and Ipswich Town drew 0-0 at Pride Park.

Friday 6th April

ROYALS TAKE ADVANTAGE

Substitute Adam Le Fondre's late double sent Reading top of the npower Championship following a gritty win over 10-man Leeds United.

The striker came off the bench to net twice in the final six minutes of a pulsating and at times ill-tempered clash at the Madejski Stadium as the visitors paid the price for the early sending-off of defender Zac Thompson.

Playing his first match since January 31, the youngster was sent off by referee Darren Drysdale after just 12 minutes, leaving Leeds to absorb wave after wave of Reading attacks.

Ian Harte's teasing cross evaded everyone before striking a post after 20 minutes while, after the break, Alex Pearce saw his header cleared en route to goal.

Leeds had their chances to win it late on, with Ross McCormack and Robert Snodgrass going close without success.

Le Fondre thought he had put his side ahead with eight minutes remaining, only to be denied by an offside flag, but he made the most of his next two sights of goal to fire the Royals to the division's summit.

ELSEWHERE IN THE DIVISION

Blackpool moved level on points with fourth-placed Birmingham City following a 2-0 win at Watford.

The Tangerines went ahead in the 25th minute when Stephen Dobbie produced a superb finish when he swept the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal.

Blackpool doubled their lead with Dobbie's second goal of the game, from the penalty spot. Thomas Ince knocked the ball past Tomasz Kuszczak, prompting the Hornets goalkeeper to bring down the Tangerines striker.

Brighton & Hove Albion occupy the final Play-Off place but they had a disappointing afternoon, losing 1-0 at Burnley after Charlie Austin converted Josh McQuoid's right-wing pass in the 23rd minute.

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